Bed Pans: Why They’re Useful and How to Pick Yours

Retro white porcelain and metal bed pan - path included

As people age, health problems get more severe, and the recovery process becomes longer. Walking around becomes difficult to impossible for elderly folks with severe illness or after extensive surgery. Accidents resulting in a major injury might lead to months of immobility and discomfort. The luxury of moving around is hindered. Therefore, something as basic as going to the bathroom is out of the question. As a result, providing a bedpan or urinal bottle is essential for their care and comfort.

Asking patients whether they need to use a bedpan or urinal bottle keeps them comfortable. It prevents the soiling of linens and bed clothing. Stripping unclean bedding increases the risk of illness because hazardous material may enter the air and trigger an infection or illness.

What is a Bedpan?

A bedpan is a container used in a healthcare facility for the toileting of a bedridden patient. It is often constructed of metal, glass, ceramic, or plastic. A bedpan is used for both fecal and urine discharge. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, arthritis, and dementia are just a few of the disorders that might limit a patient to bed and necessitate the use of bedpans. Furthermore, many people may be temporarily confined to a bed due to a temporary sickness, accident, or surgery.

Pros of a Bedpan

There are many advantages of using bedpans. Bedpans, for example, may be useful in cases of emergency urination by enabling a patient to urinate close to the bed without having to run to the toilet. They are also highly cost-effective, aid in maintaining patients' health and cleanliness, and make the waste disposal simple for both the patient and the caregiver.

Sanitation between bedpan usage is critical for caregivers since a dirty bedpan can transmit harmful germs and other pollutants into the patient's system. A bedpan should be simple to empty and clean. Some types can even withstand the high temperatures of an autoclave. It's also a good idea to have multiple bedpans on hand for rotation. There are bedpans made to nest together for simpler storage.

Cons of Bedpan

There are, however, a few drawbacks to using bedpans. Many bedpans, for example, are too small or shallow for certain patients, and other bedpans may not function well for immobile patients owing to their height. Keep these factors in mind while looking for the best bedpan for your specific requirements and scenario.

Different Types of Bedpans

Bedpans and urinals are often classified as disposable or reusable items of equipment. These are then subdivided into different male-specific and female-specific products, each of which is meant to aid in toileting and subsequent cleaning processes. Consider the various types of bedpans that you can use for toileting:

Regular Bedpan

Regular bedpans are shaped to accommodate the physical structure of the patient's back. A small basin underneath the pan collects liquid and solid waste. Regular bedpans may be used by patients who have full or restricted movement. The plastic bedpans feature odor-resistant lids and may be cleaned at high temperatures. 

Bedpans may be used to help with both bladder and bowel incontinence. A regular bedpan has a larger capacity than a fracture bedpan (discussed next below). Elderly users may need help in adjusting the bedpan underneath them and sitting up in a more natural posture for bowel elimination.

Fracture Bedpan

Fracture bedpans are wedge-shaped with a bottom collecting pan. The wedge form allows it to slip under individuals who have little or no motion. Patients with hip fractures, missing limbs, paralysis, or any other disease that severely limits mobility are common candidates for fracture bedpans.

Slipper Bedpans

Slipper bedpans are perfect for individuals who often lie down since they are easily adjusted into place. Slipper pans are often equipped with handles, making them convenient and comfortable. Slipper pans with lids are also available to avoid spills. Slipper pans come in various shapes including circular, rectangular, and others. Slipper pans are intended for users who cannot sit up due to a bone fracture or surgery to the lower body.

It's worth noting that many bedpans now come with a lid, which reduces the possibility of spills and odors and makes them easier to handle for the user or caregiver. However, if you want to purchase such a product, make sure the lid fits securely and is simple to remove. In addition, most plastic bedpans include a carry handle or, in the case of slipper pans, a long handle to help place the bedpan beneath immobile patients.

Disposable Bedpans

Disposable bedpans made of recycled (pulp) paper are also available. These pans are more suited for usage in hospitals and nursing homes than personal use at home. Disposable bedpans must be used in conjunction with a particular bedpan support holder. In addition, pulp paper bedpans need specialized handling and disposal equipment known as a macerator. As a result, they are mostly seen in hospitals and nursing homes. Disposable items are fine for short-term usage, but a reusable plastic product is superior for long-term use.

Bariatric Bedpans

A bariatric bedpan is an option if caretakers are concerned about the senior user's body weight. A bariatric bedpan is often composed of durable plastics tapered edges. It has a significantly larger weight capacity than normal plastic bedpans.

Commode Pans

Commode pans are low-cost, simple-to-use gadgets that give a sanitary, single-use solution to incontinence. They are non-hazardous to the environment and may be disposed of in a macerator. Certain designs of commodes, such as the cutaway commode, can be used under various commode chairs. However, this should be confirmed with the bedpan and commode chair manufacturers. Because each item is only used once, the danger of infection is reduced, and each item is clean and safe.


A bed urinal is a tool that allows you to pass urine in bed. The urine is held in a bottle so that it may be securely disposed. Urinals are available for both men and women, with unique forms tailored to suit a female or male physique. Urinals make it much easier to pass urine in bed and can give you confidence that you will not need to go to the bathroom frequently during the night.

Urinals are shaped like bottles and can hold up to one liter of urine, or about one and a half pints. Before using a urinal, check the manufacturer's instructions to see what the urinal can hold.

Male Urinal Bottle

The urinal bottle is often the superior choice to a bedpan for males while peeing, regardless of whether the user is upright or lying down. Most male portable urinal bottles are relatively similar in size and form, with a restricted aperture at the bottle's neck.

Female Urinal Bottle

Female users may find it more difficult to utilize these devices than males. However, design advances have considerably decreased spills and leaks. Flow may be better regulated on bottles with a bigger aperture at the neck, which allows the bottle to be suitably slanted once placed firmly against the skin.

Females in a sitting position are more likely to utilize slippers or petal pans as an alternative to a normal urinal container.

Patient's Privacy While Using a Bedpan

Adult children becoming caregivers for their elderly parents should be aware of nursing etiquette concerning personal toileting. A compromise must be struck between patient surveillance and patient privacy. Transitioning to a bedpan is difficult and embarassing for older people; caregivers must complete certain unpleasant duties to guarantee the patient's safety. These are not always easy talks, but they must be done to avoid future difficulties.

Bedpan Care

Due to ethical and sanitary norms, every patient has the right to clean products. Because they are affordable, open plastic (synthetic) bedpans are used around the globe. However, they pose a danger of infecting hands and the environment. It is recommended to use stainless steel bedpans with a lid and a firm grip handle; they fit easily in one hand, and the cover avoids contamination of the hands and surroundings. Hand hygiene must be immediately administered after taking sanitary care of the patient, and alcohol hand rub must be at arm's reach. In the patient's room, disposable gloves used during interaction with the patient must be removed.

Emptying The Bedpan

Bedpans and bottles are used 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Physical emptying and flushing are high-risk practices for microorganism dissemination and transmission. Personal protective equipment such as gloves and aprons must be used to prevent contact with bodily fluids.

Emptying urine and feces into a toilet or slop hopper exposes one's hands and the surroundings to contamination. Biofilms, which look like a slimy substance with an unpleasant odor, are important microorganism reservoirs in slop hoppers. Manufacturers have devised equipment that may be installed in a sluice room or a room linked to the patient's room to prevent contamination. Washer disinfectors are developed for use with reusable bedpans. When the machine's door is closed, the contents, including toilet paper, are evacuated. The washer-disinfector is directly connected to the sewage system, and the contaminated fluid is flushed away.

Features to Look For

Bedpans are often made of stainless steel which means they are simple to clean and long-lasting, but may be cold, harsh, and painful to use. Furthermore, the supporting surface of certain products is quite small, and extended usage might result in pressure ulcers.

Ergonomic bedpans with a wider surface of less-conductive material have been created to address these issues. In addition, some designs entirely hide the genitalia while in use, providing further protection and privacy.

Single-use bedpan liners made of recycled wood pulp (molded pulp) are becoming increasingly popular in UK hospitals because they reduce the possibility of cross-contamination. A plastic bedpan liner is another option. Some liners are biodegradable and include absorbent powder to prevent splashing and accidents. Liners are used to prevent infection in hospitals and utilize in-home health care.

Here are some other important features you should consider before buying a bedpan.

Helper Handles

Properly positioning a fracture bedpan may be difficult for both the caregiver and the elderly patient. Several fracture bedpan types have assistance or "helper" handles in their construction, allowing caregivers to make final adjustments or remove the bedpan without unwanted touches. These handles may also be used to modify the fit or remove the pan on their own.

Unfortunately, helper handles are not often included on standard or bariatric bedpans.

Personal Hygiene Aids

After using any kind of bedpan, elderly individuals often need help with personal hygiene. Incontinence bed pads may be used to protect the mattress and linens. Between toileting sessions, bladder control pads or undergarments may be worn. For applying toilet paper or cleaning sponges, extension handles are available.

Weight Capacity

Because a bedpan is put underneath a person, it must be rated to sustain that person's full body weight. Therefore, before buying a bedpan, be sure it has a suitable weight capacity.


A wider seat that overhangs the basin may aid in spill prevention. If you can't quickly clean the bedpan, choose one with a lid to keep smells in and avoid spillage.

MedPro Fracture Easy Clean Portable Bedpan

MedPro Fracture Bedpan

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Fracture Easy Clean Portable Bed Pan

by Medpro 

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02/18/2024 06:12 pm GMT

MedPro bedpans are suitable for immobile patients since they are robust and simple to clean. Fracture bedpans are perfect for bedridden individuals since they are intended to slip underneath a stationary body. This plastic adult fracture bedpan has a broad plastic shield to prevent spills and a tapered end for easy positioning, guaranteeing that the bedpan may be used comfortably without fear of spillage.

It's easy to slide this bedpan beneath your body due to its smaller tapered front end. There will be no need for hefty lifting or bedside toilets. This bedpan is excellent for the elderly or convalescents who have a restricted range of motion. The MedPro Plastic Fracture Bedpan has built-in handles for easy insertion and removal. Due to this, cross-contamination is avoided and made of tough, thick plastic that can withstand everyday usage from morning to night. It is 12.7" x 9.5" x 1.0" in size and weighs 0.3 lbs. When compared to comparable items, this bedpan is less expensive and lighter. It has a 350 lb capacity.

It is less expensive and smaller than comparable products. While it is comfortable, some people may find it small. It is not advised for overweight elderly people.

ONEDONE Bedpan for Elderly Females


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Elderly Females Heavy Duty Bed Pans


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02/18/2024 05:38 pm GMT

This is the second-best choice product for elders. The ONEDONE Bedpan is a hospital-quality bedpan designed for use at home. It is reusable and has a nonstick surface, making it easy to use. This bedpan is made of commercial-grade and heavy-duty materials, so it will be long-lasting. It has an odor, spill, and pressure-resistant surface. It is suitable for bedridden persons who have restricted movement or are recuperating from surgery. You may clean it using common home cleansers.

Additionally, this bedpan features a contoured form suitable for those with limited movement. It assures that individuals do not feel uncomfortable while using it. This bedpan may be autoclaved. It allows you to clean or disinfect the bedpan using lukewarm water and cleanser.

To Do's While Using a Bedpan

Begin by acquiring materials. A bedpan, gloves, and toilet paper or wet wipes are required. Make sure you have a place to put the bedpan while you assist with cleaning or dressing. Put on gloves after thoroughly washing and drying your hands. Allow the individual you are caring for to remove their trousers and underwear and assist if necessary. For privacy, cover them with a sheet or blanket.

To help with skin sliding on the seat of the bedpan, sprinkle a light dusting of body powder on the bottom of the pan. To avoid spills, place a bed mat under the bedpan. Allow the individual to sit up or slightly elevate their hips and move the bedpan beneath them. Alternatively, if you have an assistant, help clients lift the patient's hips. At the same time, your helper slips the bedpan beneath the person's buttocks. You should help the patient wipe if needed.

In the end, rinse and wash the bedpan with a mild disinfectant. Utilizing a little sprayer that links to the toilet's water source may be useful. Finally, dry the bedpan or allow it to air dry. Immediately take off and dispose of your gloves.

Final Thoughts

A bedpan is a device that collects feces or urine from patients who are confined to bed. A urinal is a device that collects urine from patients. Using a bedpan or urinal is a private and intimate operation. Thus, the atmosphere should be as private as possible. It is also critical that caregivers regularly supply the bedpan or urinal since patients risk accidentally soiling their bedclothes, which is unpleasant and humiliating.

Because bedpans are still often utilized in acute care hospitals, advances in bedpan models are required to solve the ongoing issues. However, nurses have various options to consider when caring for patients who rely on a bedpan.

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